Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Giglio Island: Twenty months after it ran aground, the 114,000 tonnes ship Cost Concordia has been detached from rocks, as the operation to right the ship gathered momentum, officials said Monday.
The engineers reportedly said they had succeeded in freeing the ship from rocks and rested it on a constructed platform in the sea bed.
The ship that was lying on the Tuscan reef on its side is now said to be resting on its “knees” and may take hours before it stands upright.
The ‘parbuckling’ process to right the ship as it is called is the most daunting salvaging operations undertaken ever and involves huge cables and winches to straighten the ship up.
After various degrees of rotation, considerable portions of the submerged hull have surfaced adding to the fears of what might come to sight once the entire wreck is shifted.
Experts have feared that the decomposed wastes beneath the ship might release toxic and rancid Hydrogen Sulphide gas once the ship is righted and it may create problem for the residents of Giglio.
But so far, no trace of any poisonous gas has been detected and the operation to right the ship is running “smoothly” as said by one of the engineers Sergio Girotto.
Earlier, the operation, which is set to cost half a billion pounds, was delayed by three hours due to bad weather conditions and began after a maritime exclusion zone was established around the site.
Once the engineers and the crew are successful in making the ship upright, it will then be dismantled.
32 people died and two remain unaccounted for since the ship ran aground in January 2012.